Saturday, May 4, 2013

2 Busy Weeks of Author Events - I Love It!

Tomorrow marks the end of a 2-week period in which I went to 6 author events.  That's right, 6!  With a total of (cue the music) 10 authors.  Here's how it went - with some pictures:

Saturday - April 20 - Inklings Books and Things, located in the Capitola Mall in (nothing gets by my readers) Capitola.  2 of my favorite local authors, Jasmine Haynes and Adina Senft, did a joint book signing (which they prefer to do).  It's a little crazy to see them together because Jasmine writes erotic romance, and Adina writes religions fiction.  They both do work in other genres, but those are their primary focal points.  It's always great to see them.

Tuesday, April 23 - JCC, San Francisco - Gillian (pronounced with a hard "G" - really?) Flynn, author of Gone Girl and 2 earlier books.  She drew a large crowd and gave a very interesting speech.  One surprising  fact that came out of this evening:  Gone Girl is expected to sell more copies than 50 Shades of Grey.  Are you kidding me?
P.S.  Gillian is the young one in the picture, but you probably guessed that.

Wednesday, April 24 - Book Passage, Corte Madera - Philip Kerr in the afternoon and Kate Atkinson at night.  I played hooky and took off a half-day from work.  That was definitely fun.  Philip writes a series about a Berlin detective, Bernie Gunther, in the 1940's (he has to deal with some nazi stuff, even though he's definitely not a nazi).  I got his 8th book, Prague Fatale, as an ARC last year and enjoyed it.  I thought it would be fun to see him promoting his 9th in the series.  For a weekday afternoon, it was a pretty good crowd - maybe 30-35 people.

Kate's crowd was way bigger than that.  She's written a number of books (Case Histories being pretty well known), but her current one, Life After Life, is getting a tremendous amount of play.  I've seen it pushed by a number of bloggers along with her publisher.  Her event was a little bit different than most because her American editor (Kate is British, as is Philip) interviewed her before turning it over to the audience for Q & A.  Then, of course she signed books, as they all, thankfully, do (I LOVE books signed in person).

Sunday, April 28 - JCC, Palo Alto - a panel discussion:  Women's Literature vs. Chick Lit, with 3 authors on the panel - Pulitzer Prize winner Jane Smiley, Ellen Sussman, author of French Lessons and the new The Paradise Guest House, and Janis Cooke Newman, author of Mary, Mrs. A. Lincoln; with  another author, Jane Ganahl, who wrote a memoir, Naked on the Page:  the Misadventures of My Unmarried Midlife, as moderator (long sentence, huh?).  This was fascinating.  It seems that any book that deals with emotions is considered chick lit.  There was a fair amount of distress over this but not necessarily much that they can do about it.  The real vitriol (how cool a word is that?) was directed to Wikipedia's latest bonehead move.  They're basically taking female authors out of the Author category and putting them in a separate category called "Female Authors."  We men sure know how to screw things up, don't we?
From bottom of the picture to top:  Ellen Sussman, Jane Smiley, Janis Cooke-Newman, and Jane Ganahl (yes, I know it's a lousy picture).

Thursday, May 2 - Rakestraw Books - Helene Wecker, The Golem and the Jinni.  HarperCollins has really been touting this 1st-time author.  Helene read a little from the book and then took questions.  Her answers to some of the questions were enlightening.  It turns out that she took 7 years to write her book.  She met her agent while she was getting an MFA (Masters of Fine Arts) from Columbia University.  They stayed in touch, and when he agreed to represent her about 5 years later, it took only a short while after that to get her publisher - at auction, no less.  Helene lives in the Bay Area and came to the event with her husband and a very cute baby.  (There's no picture of Helene because I FORGOT TO TAKE ONE! - clearly a senior moment).

So, this was a fantastic 2 weeks.  I love author events, and I particularly love author events that feature local authors (3 of the 6 events and 7 of the 10 authors).  I don't know when I will get that lucky again.  But I will certainly relish these 2 weeks.

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